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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478On-line version ISSN 1678-4596

Abstract

MONTANHA, Julio César; SILVA, Sérgio Leme  and  BOERE, Vanner. Comparison of salivary cortisol concentrations in Jaguars kept in captivity with differences in exposure to the public. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2009, vol.39, n.6, pp.1745-1751.  Epub May 08, 2009. ISSN 0103-8478.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782009005000089.

For the most part, jaguars kept in captivity are used for educational and recreational purposes and it hasn't been determined the different impacts that public exposure would have on these animals. In this study, we compared the salivary cortisol, one of the stress indicator hormones, in seven captive jaguars exposed to the high and low public visitation. Saliva was collected using an absorbent material that was chewed by the animals and subsequently analyzed through an immunoenzymatic assay. Salivary cortisol concentrations were significantly higher in the jaguars with higher public exposure, which suggest a more hormonal stress response. These results indicated that jaguars, animals usually of solitary and secretive behavior, may have their welfare considerably diminished by increased public exposure. Additionally, design of the enclosures, without refuges and proximity of people, could predispose jaguars to psychological stress.

Keywords : Panthera onca; jaguar; salivary cortisol; welfare.

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